Impacts of Covid-19 on Information Technology (IT) Industry

We all can see how this COVID-19 pandemic has caused many unwanted and unprecedented changes in every industrial sector whether it be Automobile, Hospitality, Aviation, Retail, or any other. All in all, a majority of these sectors have experienced only the negative impacts of this pandemic or lockdown situation on their respective businesses. However, there are a few business sectors as well that haven’t only got negatively impact by this global pandemic, but there is also a silver lining for them in this situation – and here we’re talking one of such prominent sectors i.e., Information Technology (IT). The IT industry has not only tackled the current situation decently to keep their workflow continue, but it has been the savior of various other businesses as well.  Before moving further, let’s take a look at a few important stats based on several standard research reports:  Despite this global crisis, the revenue of the IT Industry was calculated at around USD 190 Billion for 2020-21, and it is expected to reach around USD 300-350 Billion by the year 2025.Around 35-38% of tech organizations are likely to improve or enhance their IT operations and infrastructure due to the COVID-19 outbreak.The leading companies of the sectors have reported an average of 5-10% increase in IT expenditures only because of the COVID-19 pandemic.The Cloud Software and Digital Platforms have comparatively witnessed the fastest business expansion in 2020 when everyone was working from home.The above-mentioned numbers depict that IT Industry has somehow extracted the best out of this crisis situation where all other businesses are thriving hard to get back to normal.  If we look at the reasons behind this positive impact of the covid crisis or respective lockdown situation on the IT Industry, we will find out that all individuals or businesses, when they’re locked at home or are working remotely, are using digital tools and technologies whether it be Social Media Platforms like LinkedIn or Instagram, Communication Apps like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, Cloud Software, etc. to continue their job/business. And this eventually increased the demand and usage of the internet and technologies significantly. Just for an example – let us tell you that Zoom alone experienced year-on-year growth of around 340-345% in the year 2020. Similarly, as per the McKinsey & Company reports, due to the covid-19 crisis, there has been a significant shift in technology adoption and digitization worldwide – the digital adoption has fast-forwarded by around 3 years.Furthermore, the IT Industry is the one that has also supported other businesses or industries to keep things ongoing. For instance, when all the schools and physical classrooms are closed, it is due to all those tools and technologies that students all across the world are able to continue with the learning. In fact, various tech advancements in ed-tech like AI and ML, AR & VR, etc. are making the learning experience better for the students, compared to conventional physical classroom-based education. Other than that, platforms related to e-commerce, etc. have also reported a never-seen-before usage and growth during the lockdown period.  And most importantly, the recent involvement of the IT Industry in the healthcare domain to deal with the coronavirus crisis is also one of the major reasons behind the upward trend of this particular sector in terms of growth and demand. From contact tracing platforms to advanced technologies for rapid testing to remote surveillance of patients – the tech industry is assisting out the healthcare system in all possible ways and a lot of apps and platforms have been built in the last few months to accomplish various healthcare-related tasks.  Though…we still can’t say either that the IT Industry has witnessed zero negative impact – but what we can say is that this pandemic situation has caused the tech organizations to adopt modern technologies that can cope up with such pandemic situations without discontinuing the company’s workflow or operations. And due to this, IT businesses are forced to undergo the required digital transformation where, without any doubt, will be numerous career opportunities for individuals but if we look at the other side, many conventional technologies or their respective tech jobs seem to get outdated.  For example, the lockdown has generated the desperate need for chatbots in the end-to-end customer businesses that can assist the customers with their concerns or queries. Now, chances are more that in the near future chatbots are more likely to be used by almost every organization to solve customers’ queries or update them with the latest information and subsequently will replace human executives.Some of the tech trends or domains that are all set to grow in terms of demand and usage, particular due to the covid-19 crisis and its effects are listed below:  Internet of Behaviors (IoB)5GAugmented Reality and Virtual RealityTotal Experience (TX)BlockchainDistributed CloudHyperautomationArtificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, etc.However, it would be somehow better if tech organizations integrate these technologies into their workflow and infrastructure to reinforce operations and enhance the productivity & efficiency of their workforce rather than doing it just for the sake of replacing the manpower with tech advancement.Other than that, if we talk about the internal policies, operations, and management of tech companies – it has also significantly impacted and changed due to the covid crisis. For instance, a quick shift to the WFH model, online interviews and hiring process, etc. But this can also be considered as a blessing in disguise for the tech companies as after the remote working process it has been observed by many leading tech companies that their efficiency and productivity rate has somehow got increased. And that perhaps the reason that many big tech giants are likely to adopt these workflow changes permanently (even after the post covid times).  Just for an example – let us tell you that Twitter has already made a public announcement about its permanent work from home plans. Similarly, Facebook has also officially hinted that around 50% of the company’s workforce could be working remotely in the next 5-10 years.However, things can be a bit difficult for the small tech startups or companies as they may find it difficult to adapt to such changes easily most probably due to lack of infrastructure, capital, exposure, etc.  The entire above discussion implies that the impact of Covid-19 on the Information Technology (IT) Industry is may not be that severe or negative compared to other business sectors – but now the IT Industry or tech sector has more responsibilities to come up with advanced technologies and platforms in the market to deal with the post-covid world.For example – once things will get back to normal, other sectors like hospitality, manufacturing, retail, etc. most probably will work in the same way (or with some minor changes in the workflow) as they were doing in pre-covid times. But the case is not the same with the IT sector as tech organizations have to look at the bigger picture and need to work on those tech solutions that can ensure the continued operations of every business out there or other domains like education, etc. without any hassle despite the pandemic-like situations!